A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is characterized by urgent, frequent, painful urination. Lower abdominal pain may also occur. Voided urine often has a strong, unpleasant odor, and may appear cloudy or blood-tinged. Women are at great risk for developing a UTI than are men. Although less common, they can also occur in men and may be a sign of an underlying condition, such as prostate problems

More than 80% of UTI’s are caused by a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract. Bladder problems occur more frequently in women than men for two reasons: Because they have a shorter urethra and because of the close proximity of the urethra and the anus. This allows for bacteria to spread relatively easily from the anus to vagina and urethra, and into the bladder. A UTI should always be treated promptly. If left untreated it could lead to a kidney infection, which could permanently damage your kidneys.

Many doctors recommend antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections. Unfortunately, antibiotics disturb the normal intestinal flora and may even promote recurrent infections. For most bladder infections, a natural approach is best.

Follow this natural regimen if you have urinary tract infection:

  • Plenty of pure water to cleanse the body (at least 8 glasses/day)
  • Unsweetened cranberry juice to acidify urine and help prevent bacterial growth (1 quart/day)
  • Garlic and onions for antibiotic and immune support
  • Berries, pomegranates, and green tea for antioxidants
  • Parsley, celery, watermelon are diuretics and cleanse the system
  • Yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut for beneficial probiotics to replenish intestinal flora
  • Dandelion tea is a diuretic and aids in relieving bladder discomfort
  • Eat plenty of alkalinizing fresh, organic vegetables (especially greens)
  • Eat vitamin C foods such as berries, green vegetables, avocado, and cantaloupe
  • Avoid citrus foods
  • Eliminate acid-forming foods such as alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, soda, processed foods, and refined sugar
  • Take a good quality multivitamin

Some tips to prevent UTI’s include:

  • Drink 8-10 glasses of pure water every day
  • Keep your immune system in optimal shape in order to fight off bacterial infections
  • Wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement
  • Do not hold urine in the bladder. Urinate frequently during waking hours

Until next time, make every bite count!